Today’s #look, shirt and vest by me. More vest photos @sew.multithreaded. #imadethis #menswearforall #sewqueer
Feeling my new @threadtheorydesigns cardigan today. Nice and warm when it was windy and cold today in San Francisco. .
Second make of 2019, a backpack for my favorite niece. Started this one with @amylynnboles when they were visiting this week, finished it up today.
#imadethis #oaklandsews #guncleing
When your sister visits and says, “I’ve been thinking about a jean jacket with sweatshirt sleeves,” the correct answer is, “let’s make it!” @seamworkmag Audrey, with sleeve modification. Fabric and notions from @discountfabricsf and @stonemountainfabric. Sewing by @amylynnboles and yours truly. .
#oaklandsews #imadethis #sewcialist #sewqueer #denim
Experiments in felt collage. #imadethis
Unecessarily upgraded to the Xs over the weekend. I think I now understand what people mean when they say it “reimagined” the iPhone.
Before being felled by the flu shortly after Christmas, I had intended to write this at the end of December. Better late than never.
The last quarter of 2017 was a busy one for me. This was largely the result of acquiring a new hobby. Like some people collect books or plates, I seem to collect hobbies. The first weekend of October I decided to purchase a sewing machine. It’s something I’d been thinking about for a while, and had been setting funds aside from my paychecks for when I finally figured out what to get. I’m not exactly sure what sparked it: my mom and aunt both sewed when I was growing up, working together for a period at the Nimble Thimble; I had 8 weeks of home economics in 7th grade, split evenly between sewing and cooking; I’ve played with embroidery, needle point, and other fabric arts over the years. Any or all of the above, combined with some feeling that the clothing I wanted to wear wasn’t just waiting on the rack.
So armed with a rugged Husqvarna Viking, I set out to see what sewing was all about. Since that first weekend in October, I’ve made
- two dresses (Halloween costumes),
- a tank top,
- a short-sleeved henley,
- a button down dress shirt,
- another button down dress shirt,
- baby clothes and a coordinating blanket,.
- two capelets,
- a tunic top,
- and a pea coat.
Phew. I guess the sewing bug has bitten me a bit.
There’s a way in which sewing has been an unexpected application of the skills I’ve learned in my printmaking practice. In printmaking — especially linocut — it’s easy to make a mark on the block you didn’t intend. That becomes part of the print, there’s no going back. That leads to creative solutions, working it into the image in a way (hopefully) works. Sewing is more forgiving, but — especially as an early sewist — I found myself making mistakes in cutting, stitching, etc, that I had to work with. In some cases I could unpick the seam and start again. Other projects, such as the tunic, though, were made of fabric that resisted do-overs.
A friend of mine visited me in the printmaking studio a couple years ago. Observing me listen to the ink as I rolled it as a way to gauge viscosity, he commented, “Oh, it’s really like applied material science.” Sewing seems like that to me, too: working with things repeatedly to understand how they can be pushed, manipulated, and stretched.
Looking at the above list I understand why the last quarter of 2017 felt like all sewing all the time. I want to keep doing it in 2018 — I’ve already started a small first project — although probably not at that pace.
After lots of false starts, I’ve actually gained some momentum on updating Effective Django. Feels good to be making progress, both with the text and the tooling.